It’s always nice to hear from Autocar readers; to hear about their cars, their buying and selling experiences, and just what they think is going on in our little bubble. Ben isn’t a dealer, but he got a bit bored at home during lockdown so “swapped out the family fleet”.
Let’s get your full attention with a McLaren. “I bought a 540C from a main dealer just after we left the first lockdown, because dealers were desperate to sell,” says Ben. “It seems a lot of people were keen to buy, too, with a changed mindset about enjoying life in the moment. I sold it to a trader five months and 4000 miles later for more than I paid.”
Ben is indeed correct: there is the odd Mac on sale. I spotted one in a suburb of London where a private-hire Toyota Prius, not a 540C, is the usual ride. Anyway, a five-owner privately offered 2016 example with a sub-20,000-mile reading, it was up for £73,000. I didn’t much fancy it, given that it was squeezed onto the concreted frontage of a terraced house. And especially not when I can go to a dealer down the road and get a 2016 car with a full history and 23,000 miles for £79,995.
According to Ben, “decent Ford Mustang V8 GTs seem to have settled at a minimum of £26,000-£27,000 and are a lot of car for the money”. He goes on: “I just bought a Competition Orange Mustang with 4500 miles and five Ford stamps in the book, in mint condition, for £27,000. I was hankering after an Aston Martin V8 Vantage, but the same price buys one 20 years older, with higher parts and running costs plus 20,000 miles.”
Absolutely: I made the point recently that a Vantage or DB9 is surely going to cause you a lot more financial grief than a fairly straight-forward Ford. I found a very clean one-owner 2016 Mustang V8 with just under 15,000 miles for £26,950.
Ben also reckons that the R231-generation Mercedes-Benz SL is in reasonable supply. He says: “There are some bargains about, especially 350s. I paid £24,000 privately for a one-owner, mint-condition, 65-plate 400 AMG with a full service history and 23,000 miles. It feels real value for money currently. I’m told it has simpler suspension and is the first without roof-leak issues… We’ll see.”